Gun control has been a contentious issue in the past, including in the recent U.S. presidential elections. A section of the citizenry is concerned that banning gun ownership or severely limiting the citizens’ right to use guns will be an infringement on their rights. However, the recent increase in mass shootings and assault against police officers provides a leeway for the placement of limits on gun ownership and use. This paper argues that gun control is necessary both in the short run and in future.
Controlling handguns, for instance, limits the number of new gun owners thus limiting the likelihood of more crime being committed. Gun control will to a great extent save lives. First, the largest number of homicides is usually linked to the law sector, where homicides by gun account for the greatest number of casualties. One of the key reasons why gun control is necessary is the increase in shooting cases, particularly in schools. Several innocent school children have previously died due to the prevalence of a high number of guns in the hands of civilians. This has encouraged gunmen to use the arms inappropriately.
In addition, some of the opponents of gun control state that hunting is a key activity in their life and that they require guns to hunt. Still, some of the weapons used for hunting are assault and semi-automatic. In fact, assault weapons, which account for a significant number of weapons held by private citizens, is not meant to be used for sport hunting purposes. However, when someone insists that he is using an AR-15 for use in sports, it barely makes sense. Using semi-automatic weapons for hunting purposes amount to misuse. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons are the best choice for mass shooters hence such weapons in wrong hands is extremely risky. Such weapons need to be in the hands of law enforcers only. Handguns can do just fine for hunting purposes.
Individuals and groups that oppose gun control further point to the Second Amendment which allows civilians to own firearms for the purpose of individual and societal protection. However, such rights made sense during moments when private citizens did not trust the national government. The American civil war of the mid 19th century gave civilians such a chance. Yet in modern days where private citizens have turned to amassing several firearms with no clear threat to their lives, it is necessary to pursue the Second Amendment with caution. Cases of armed civilians shooting police officers dead have been on the rise in the past five years. In this regard, the pursuit of the Second Amendment must be cautious, and gun control needs to be enforced.
One of the aspects that make gun control relatively difficult is the ability of armed civilians to intervene and stop criminals at scenes of crime. In reality, however, very few cases of intervention by armed civilians have been recorded in the past at scenes of crime. Mass killings continue in schools, and no one intervenes in such cases because a gunman comes with the sole intention of murder. Expecting armed civilians to respond is harder than simply placing checks that prevent the gunman from owning the gun in the first place.
In conclusion gun ownership and use needs to be controlled. It is a contentious but necessary decision. Such a move would not only limit access to firearms hence save lives, but it will also reduce the rampant cases of mass shootings and high rates of homicides that define the current society. Law enforcement agencies need to be empowered to protect civilians and civilians need to trust law enforcers to do their work. Application of the Second Amendment should be cautious.
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